Understanding what is Happening in ICT in Botswana: A Supply- and Demand-side Analysis of the ICT Sector

Botswana has experienced radical changes in its information and communication technology (ICT) institutional and regulatory framework since the year 2006 when the market was liberalised to allow internet service providers (ISPs) to provide voice over internet protocol (VoIP), the mobile operators to build their own infrastructure and the international voice gateway to be opened to competition. Whilst there have been impressive changes in the regulatory environment, in liberalisation of the market, and in investment in bandwidth capacity (via connections to two undersea cables: the Eastern African Submarine Cable System [EASSy] and the West African Cable Sytem [WACS]), Botswana’s networked readiness ranking has been deteriorating in recent years. It is now worse than that of comparable lower-middle income countries such as South Africa, Mauritius, Kenya and Ghana (in spite of higher income per capita than in Kenya, Ghana and South Africa).